In early October we all got the big virus that shall not be named.
Joshua and I had a medium go at things, while the kids had a mild couple days of low fever and fatigue. Joshua and I both experienced a bit more with 3+/- days of significant fatigue and headache. Luckily, his picked up as mine faded so we weren’t down at the same time. Neither of us lost our sense of smell, which I guess is less common with the current variant, but my appetite was off for a couple weeks and I do wonder if there was some relation. Isn’t half of taste actually smell, or something? Another interesting detail that we both experienced was chest congestion and a deep, productive cough picked-up at around Day 10-12, well after we were testing negative. I am 4 weeks out and just in the last couple days have stopped clearing my throat.
When Beaudin was in active CAR T treatment, meaning he had CAR T cells activate in his body, we really could not risk him getting the virus- or so we thought. Reason being that if he had a rough go with it, they would prescribe steroids and the steroids would deactivate, or turn off, his T cells. We hadn’t come this far, upended so much, to have to turn off those million dollar cells with steroids.
We took the big steps, like taking the boys out of school, but we were not limiting other areas like eating out, or being with friends. We tried to find a balance between big risks and big rewards and I think we did it. It’s a miracle that we went this long without getting it.
Once we knew it was circulating in our house (I went down first with Selah, then Joshua, then many days later Beau, then Jude) there was an eerie feeling about things. I am sure many people have experienced this with the virus. We all have heard so much about it for so long that once it finally arrives you kind of hold you breath and wait to see what happens. We had lived for 2.5 years hoping not to get it for fear that Beaudin would be in danger. To know it was in our house, that he had it, was creepy. It felt like we were in the “and then he got COVID” portion of a story that could really go any direction.
At 9am Saturday morning, Beaudin was skating at the skate park and by 12 noon he was laying down in the back of the van saying his head hurt. We knew it’d finally gotten to him. He had a low fever (never above 101F) and went to bed for the day. The next day he was tired and still running the low fever. By Monday morning he was fully recovered and well rested. That was it. No cough, no sinus trouble, nothing else. Jude and Selah both had similar experiences with it. They continued to test positive, and thus not be able to go to school, for 8 days.
I am so glad that Beaudin, and the rest of us, faired well and that our bodies have been exposed to the virus. I am hoping we have a small bit of immunity (or maybe a large bit, go memory T cells go!) to get us through the depth of winter without another round.
I figured that a drawn out couple weeks of the virus would check the “sick kids” box for a while, but just like that Beaudin came home from school this week with a tummy ache. After sleeping all afternoon, which is very uncharacteristic, then throwing-up in the late evening, and spiking a fever, we were on high alert that we may be passing around another bug. And sure enough, Jude went to bed sick last night. Welcome winter!
We had a clinic visit this week for Beaudin (All clear- I will detail in a separate post) which is the only reason I was able to lean deep into the “normal kids illness” of all this. Wow, how long it has been since Beaudin was throwing-up and fevering and I didn’t fear for relapse! Slowly I am able to show my nervous system that there is another way.
What a world where I lay in bed next to my recently vomiting kid and thank the heavens that he gets to be so normal. What a gift normal childhood illness is, let us never forget.
Thankfully between that virus and this one, I snuck in a girl’s trip to Mexico (that was planned for May 2020 and delayed, delayed, delayed) and then we celebrated Halloween with our annual Chili and Popcorn cul-de-sac party. We hosted Jude’s best friend from school and his family who just moved here from Australia and it was very fun to see them experience their first American Halloween.
I made a standard chili that everyone gushed over. I don’t love chili, but they all did, so you can find that recipe here. I served it up with shredded cheese, green onions and cilantro for garnish and my friend, Lucia, brought bone broth rice to serve it over which was an unexpectedly, amazing addition.
We also, of course, got out our popcorn machine and served up the perfect popcorn made with coconut oil and this salt. So unexpected is the joy that this random amazon purchase has given us over the years.
I also roasted the pumpkin seeds from the jack-o-lanterns and have been munching on those all week. Gah! Delicious! I accidentally doubled the seeds and didn’t double the spices which was a lame oversight, but they were still yummy. The secret to roasted pumpkin seeds is that after you clean them, you have to dry them *overnight* on a towel. If they are not completely dry, they won’t crisp in the oven as the moisture within releases and you basically end up with a steamed seed. Here is the full recipe.
Joshua purchased us a couples costume (street taco and lime) which was so uncharacteristic of him that it made my heart flutter. The children searched for pillow cases to collect candy which felt like the unlocking of a core childhood memory. The weather was perfect. Cold enough to remind you it’s fall, but warm enough that we ended trick-or-treating by choice and not because our extremities had lost feeling. And most importantly of all, we were surround by friends.
Happy October everyone, I hope you are all staying healthy and hopeful.